Focus is trying to tap into a market of films about pick-pocket, slight of hand, staged robbery that’s already well-established. The problem is that it’s hard work makes it predictable — the tale of his father that Nicky (Will Smith) tells Jess (Margot Robbie) is going to turn into their fate. To be unique, the film weaves a romance between Smith and Robbie, though one that lacks chemistry and relies on Robbie being the most fun person to stare at (a success). It’s disappointing the film didn’t enable Robbie to show off her acting chops, which we know she has. Adrian Martinez is delightful as Nicky’s funny co-robber Farhad.
Good for Focus for trying to jump into the niche market, but it’s mediocre. If you take one thing away from the film, let it be this: stealing from professional race car drivers isn’t as entertaining as taking down Las Vegas casinos.